Prime Minister designate Tihomir Oreskovic on Friday confirmed that he had met with Darko Lorencin, the outgoing Tourism Minister, and that he had congratulated him on the results in tourism and underscored that he planned to speak to as many people as he could in various ministries and in the business sector.

"We met in the Tourism Ministry and I wanted to congratulate him on the 7 percent growth in tourism which is excellent for Croatia. It would be excellent for the country for other sectors to have that sort of growth," Oreskovic told reporters. He recalled that he knew Lorencin well from the time when he was CEO in Pliva and Lorencin worked in the Ministry of Economy.

Minister Lorencin reported on the meeting in a press release in which it says that he informed Oreskovic of the situation in the tourism sector and that they "primarily discussed the results achieved in tourism turnover and revenue, the investments realised over the past four years and those planned for the coming period, the Strategy for the Development of Tourism and Strategic Marketing Plan and legislative proposals that are being prepared."

"Minister Lorencin also informed the PM designate of the activities the Tourism Ministry has undertaken in the past four years, the situation on our most important markets and of incentive measures in the tourism sector in Croatia in cooperation with foreign business partners who bring tourists to our country," the press release says.

In a statement to the press, Oreskovic underscored that he was seeking the best qualified people to be members of the new government but he did not wish to tell reporters whether in his capacity as PM designate he was open to the possibility of having some ministers from the former government, if they had been successful, to be part of his government. He added that he planned to speak to as many people in the ministries and in the business sector as possible in order to get a better picture of the state of the country.

Oreskovic said that he would speak to Finance Minister Boris Lalovac when he had the time, "If not then the new finance minister will speak with him," he said.

He added that next week he would commence more concrete talks with the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Bridge reformist party about concrete names for ministers and that he was confident the new government would be formed within the set deadline of 30 days.

Lorencin's Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) and the party's leader Boris Miletic said that they welcomed the talks with the "most successful Croatian minister", adding that the IDS would not support a centre-right government.

"The results in the ministry over the past four years that was headed by a member of  the IDS are impressive, which is evident in record numbers for last year. It is logical that the future PM-Designate Tihomir Oreskovic notices and recognises these results, all the more so, because he is a man that comes from the business world," Miletic said on the party's web site welcoming today's meeting in "circumstances when political dialogue in Croatia is at its lowest point."

As far as supporting a right-wing government, Miletic underscored, IDS's stance from the start was clear and has not changed. "We will not support a centre-right government because the differences in ideologies and world views are too huge. Apart from that we still have no idea of the government's position on decentralisation and its relations toward fundamental civil liberties and values, above all, the question of human rights and minority rights. We hope that Mr Oreskovic will focus on the economy and that he will copy his professional success on the economic picture of Croatia - that is in all our interest."

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.